Superheroes are big. In TV and movies. Cool. I love superheroes. Recently, women superheroes have been featured -- Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel with their own movies, and characters like Scarlet Witch, Valkyrie, The Wasp and Wakanda warriors getting distinct nods. Cool.
Now there is a new Batwoman show coming to TV on the CW. Awesome. Kick ass vigilante woman. But is that where the focus is? Is that what we see in the press release news?
It isn't the "new Batwoman on CW". It is the new "lesbian Batwoman", or "there's a new Batwoman on TV -- and she's a lesbian".
Why? Are you looking for a pat on the back? A knowing nod to your contribution to inclusion and representation? Newsflash -- if you are trying to show how progressive you are, that doesn't do it. Because as long as you point it out, it remains something -- different, particular, out of the ordinary -- and that's not progressive. As long as it is something to be distinguished, it remains something...out of the norm. And that's not it. Until we just have a new Batwoman show - period - and her personal life simply is whatever it is without note of any kind - then we aren't there yet. In fact, the need to point out that she is gay, to make it a focus of the marketing, shows how far there is yet to go. Some shows, like SYFY's The Magicians, get it. Characters are who they are: nerdy depressed guy, bookish shy girl, hipster...and their sexuality, who they are attracted to or hook up with just..happens. No announcement or fanfare. They just are. As it should be. Like life.
I once read a piece by a mother to her son that said, in essence, "If you are gay, don't 'come out' to me or make an announcement. Just be you, live your life, and come home one day and introduce me to your boyfriend, who I will be thrilled to meet."
You know, just like straight people do.
Because until it is nothing special, it is still something 'other'.